Richardson ISD Attendance Matters
The Attendance Improvement and Truancy Reduction program, assists schools in creating a culture of attendance to ensure district compliance with mandates from the state of Texas governing student non-attendance.

Mission Statement

The Student Services Department is committed to serving the students of Richardson ISD by removing barriers which prevent students from attending school. We work collaboratively with students, families, schools, community stakeholders and district resources to improve attendance and enhance student success.

Attendance Matters

Regular attendance in elementary school is a strong predictor of grade-level performance. Attending school regularly helps students feel better about school—and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn that going to school on time, and every day, is important.

  • Starting in kindergarten, missing about 18 days, or 10 percent of the school year, can make it harder to learn to read. That equates to missing just a day or two days every few weeks.
  • Students who are frequently absent in kindergarten are less prepared than peers for first grade and often struggle to read on grade level through elementary school.
  • Absences add up in elementary school. Research shows that missing 18 days in a school year or 2 days every month can result in lower test scores and possible retention in later grades.
  • By sixth grade, chronic absenteeism is one of the three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
  • By freshman year, attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than eighth-grade test scores.


The Texas State Compulsory Attendance Law requires students aged 6 through 19 to attend school. Section 25.085 requires students to go to school each school day for the entire school day unless exempted by law. This requirement includes students who have voluntarily enrolled in prekindergarten or kindergarten and students who are 19 or older.

Students who violate this law may receive referrals for court proceedings against the parent, guardian or student to enforce the law.

  1. You can ask your child’s campus for an attendance report to review routinely.
  2. Students and parents can monitor attendance records in Focus. Please click here to sign into RISD Focus. In addition, parents can sign up to receive notifications from Focus.
RISD policy states parents submit an excuse note to the school attendance office within three days of returning to school. Excuse notes, which can be an email or uploaded to Focus, must include:
  • Student name
  • School name
  • Student ID number
  • A written statement giving the date and reason for the absence
  • Parent or guardian signature for handwritten notes only
  • Parent phone number
Learn how to upload your attendance excuse for Focus.

Log into your Focus account.

When sickness or other obligation necessitates an absence, a note signed by the parent/guardian explaining the reason for the absence is required. If a student fails to submit a note, the absence will be considered unexcused. Richardson ISD encourages students to submit an excuse note within three days of the student’s return to school.

It is very important for a parent to send a note because the absence will be unexcused if a parent/guardian fails to provide a note. Unexcused absences trigger the warning letters regarding violation of compulsory attendance laws and can lead to truancy court proceedings with Dallas County.

  • Child’s illness or injury
  • Family emergency with administrator approval
  • Death of a family member
  • Doctor or dental appointments that cannot be scheduled before or after school hours
  • Religious holidays
  • Court appearances

Please note: If a student is absent, Parents should always submit an excuse note to the main office when the student returns to school. Excuse notes should have student name, grade, date of absence, reason, and parent signature.

We are sure you are aware of how important it is that your child receive a quality education. However, you may be unaware that under the laws of the State of Texas it is your duty as the parent/guardian to monitor your child’s attendance and make sure he/she attends school each and every day, for the full instructional day. This also includes ensuring the student arrives to school on time, attends each class period and avoid as much as possible early releases/pick-ups from school unless there is an extreme emergency.

When a student is absent from school Parents/Guardians should submit a written explanation, also known as an excuse note, to the school. This should be done within three school days following the student’s return to school.

For information on how to monitor your child’s attendance, grades, and etc. Please click here to sign up for RISD Focus. In addition, parents can sign up to receive notifications from Focus.

Automated phone calls will be placed to parents or guardians notifying them when a student has been marked absent. It is the parent’s or guardian’s responsibility to ensure that they provide current and up-to-date contact information to the school.

The school district will also provide attendance information on a child’s report card to monitor the student’s school attendance. For up-to-the minute attendance information parents/guardians can view their student’s attendance record in Focus.

If a student has been absent without excuse on three days or parts of three days within a four-week period, the school district shall issue a warning notice to inform the parent of their duty to monitor the student’s school attendance and require the student to attend school; and the student is subject to truancy-prevention measures in addition to other statutory requirements in existence; and a request for a conference between school officials and the parents will be made to discuss the absences.

The Texas State Compulsory Attendance Law, Section 25.085, requires all enrolled students to attend school on time, all day, every day school is in session.

The Richardson Independent School District requires an explanation note to excuse an absence. Parents or guardians will receive a warning letter from the school when a student has been absent without an excuse three times for any part of the day in a four-week period.

Students who violate the law may receive a referral for court proceedings against the parent or guardian and the student to enforce the law. Students over the age of 19 may be withdrawn by the school for excessive unexcused absences.

If you receive a notice, take steps to avoid future unexcused absences and schedule a conference with campus staff to understand how the absences occurred.

If you have any concerns regarding the accuracy of your student’s attendance, please contact the school’s attendance office.

Contact Us

  • For more information about Attendance, contact Kim Sullivan at
  • RISD policy states parents submit an excuse note to the school attendance office within three days of returning to school. Please contact your school for more information.
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